Spartan Herald


A Message from Dr. Dean-Null

February Message
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Celebrating Black History Month at SMS

Reminders on WSMS

Dr. Dean-Null and Mr. Fry have visited WSMS various times over the last few weeks to offer reminders to students. Here are a couple of those reminders:

- When learning virtually, students should keep their cameras on.

- Students should regularly check Canvas and Skyward to track their academic progress.

- Students are encouraged to email teachers if they have questions on assignments or need additional support.

- Office hours are a great way for students to receive direct help from their teachers.

- If students need emotional or academic support, they can request an appointment with their counselor. They can do this digitally by using the link found in the weekly student newsletter that is emailed to students directly.

Support SMS By Eating Pasta!

PTO has partnered with Papa Vino’s Italian Kitchen to offer a flavorful fundraiser! Please mark your calendars and visit the SMS Papa Vino’s link to place your order. Easy-peasy, safe, and the best part - a night off from cooking!

Meals are packaged family-style and are designed to feed 4-5 people.

Online per-order is available for pick up after 4pm. You may pre-order anytime between now and 4pm the day you would like to pick up.

ORDERS MUST BE PLACED THROUGH the SMS Papa Vino’s link in order to count toward the SMS fundraiser. There is an option to add an additional donation amount at the bottom of this screen.

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Order Your Yearbook Now!

Click below to order your yearbook

Virtual Author Visit

Please check out this video to hear about how are students were able to connect with authors!
Virtual Author Visit at Schmucker Middle School

Connecting with a Local Author

A group of 8th grade students will also get the opportunity to meet a local South Bend author via Google Meet on Monday, February 8th. Author Lisa DeSelm, will be speaking about her book, The Puppetmaster's Apprentice and is sharing with students about her writing process, inspiration, and about her book. It will be a great event for students to meet a published author from right in our hometown!
Click here to visit the Brain Lair!

A big thanks to The Brain Lair for their help in making these author visits possible! We are thrilled to continue our partnership with this local business.

Follow us on Twitter! @SMSSpartanPride

Implicit Bias Training with SMS Teachers

We want to thank Mr. White, PHM's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, and Dr. Sears, PHM's Director of Social-Emotional Learning & Mental Health, for offering a training about implicit bias for our SMS teachers. We appreciate all the information they had to share.

International Travel

With safety as our top priority, we want to make certain that our families are aware of the CDC's recent Order (effective 1-26-21) related to international travel. This link provides more details as well as access to frequently asked questions. It is critical that families who might be contemplating upcoming international travel abide by this Order including all required post-travel quarantines.

Please understand that if you are planning to travel outside of the country while this Order is in effect, your child(ren) will need to quarantine for the specified number of days after returning to the United States. We must comply with this Order in an effort to maintain a safe learning environment for our students and staff.

6th Grade Virtual Choir Students

You have a packet of music to pick up in the lobby inside Door A. It's more fun when everybody can share in the music making.

Checking Grades & Report Cards

Parents, when you are checking on your child's grade, please be sure to check Skyward. Canvas does not always have all the assignments and assessments listed. For the most accurate grades, Skyward is best. Remember you can always email your child's teachers if you have any questions.

The grades you see on the Classes screen are “live” from the teacher's grade book and will typically match what you see on the report card. At the end of each marking period, the grades are finalized and then the Report Card is shown on Skyward.

Attention 8th Graders!! High School Scheduling Information

Please note, this information is subject to change.

    • January/February 2021: Penn High School continues to develop the plan for Summer PE registration. More information will be released as soon as it is available.

    • Week of February 8th, 2021: Students and families will be emailed an official Course Menu with teacher recommendations for core classes. Students, in the meantime, make sure you are looking at the Penn Program of Studies and the SAMPLE Course Selection Sheet. You'll each need to choose at least 2 electives that interest you the most and some back-up electives. There are so many great things to choose from!

    • February 24 and 25, 2021: Counselors will present information in Social Studies classes about high school and guide students through scheduling their high school classes.

    • March 1st: Counselors hold virtual office hours to answer questions about scheduling from 9:00-9:30, 11:00-12:00, and 2:30-3:00. Students may also request an appointment to discuss scheduling needs, or send an email. Links to Google Meets will be sent at a later date.

    • August 2021: Become a Penn Kingsman!

    • May 2025: Graduate from Penn High School!

    There will be more dates and information to share in the coming weeks. Please keep an eye out for 8th grade scheduling announcements and reminders!

    Mrs. Eck, School Counselor for Last Names A-K --

    Mrs. Hoover, School Counselor for Last Names L-Z --

Washington DC Update

Good Afternoon Middle School Families,

After discussion as a district, it was decided for multiple reasons that we are not able to offer the Washington DC trip to this year's 8th graders for the 2020-2021 school year. Due to COVID, we will not be able to provide the adequate safety measures for students and staff on the trip while on the bus, hotels, and visiting locations. Additionally, the uncertainty of what locations and monuments will be open to students visiting during the trip because of current health restrictions due to COVID was also a consideration. This year's 8th grade class will be provided virtual Washington D.C. experiences. It is the district’s hope that we will be able to provide trips like this again in future years.


The Middle School Principals

Amazing Teacher of the Month

Each month, the South Bend Tribune and Ivy Tech Community College will recognize one teacher as the Amazing Teacher of the Month and they will be featured in print and on our publication’s website.

The Teacher of the Month will be eligible to win a national $5,000 monthly prize for themselves and $5,000 for their school!

Whether you’re a student who’s learned from a great teacher, or a colleague, here’s your chance to recognize an exemplary local teacher.

Nominate an educator to be recognized as the Amazing Teacher of the Month

and show them just how grateful you are for the work they put in.

Make your nominations now at and share this email with your friends and colleagues. The more nominations made, the better the odds are at winning a national prize!

Social & Emotional Supports

In case you missed this newsletter, please click the button below to view details about social and emotional supports.

SEL Lessons

For the month of February, the social-emotional lessons will focus on the competencies of collaboration (the ability to work well with others to build positive communication and effectively manage conflict) and connection (have a strong social awareness, take the perspective of others, and be empathetic). Lessons will cover steps to problem solve and ways to work through conflict in order to find a solution that works well for all involved by taking into consideration different communication styles. Students will also learn the importance of assertive communication and discuss using "I statements." Relational aggression will also be discussed to help stop exclusive acts, especially in a group dynamic. SEL lessons will also focus on the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity as students learn to value culture and be inclusive. Students will be reminded of how to contact their school counselor should they be in need.


Free $$ for college!

The 21st Century Scholars program is need-based assistance which will help students have the ability to go to college who otherwise may not be able to afford it. The program can save you and your family thousands of dollars on higher education past high school, as well as connect you and your student to other great resources.

Students can enroll during 7th and/or 8th grade, but the deadline for this opportunity to enroll is JUNE 30 of a student's 8th grade year. Once this date has passed, students cannot enroll while at the high school. Please take the time to visit to learn more about the program and enroll your student right away before this opportunity is no longer available. Email or call your child's school counselor if you have further questions.

Income Eligibility Guidelines for 2020-2021:

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Community Events

Click on the link below to see community events.

Safety Update: How Can Parents Monitor On-Line Activity


Starting this school year, families have the option of receiving weekly emails outlining your students online activity while using Chromebooks. This online service is free and it gives parents an opportunity to maintain a safe learning environment at school and at home. Please click on the attached links to learn more about how Securly can help you.


If you see something, hear something, say something! The Safe School Helpline is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at any P-H-M school or building. You can call the number any time of the day or night to report concerns about unsafe or potentially disruptive activities or situations including drug or alcohol abuse, weapons, harassment, bullying or threats. All calls are completely confidential.

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PHM Open Positions

Please help us increase the size of our non-certified applicant pool. The link below will take you to the HR page in Frontline for all current PHM vacancies. Please encourage people you know who would be a great fit for our Schmucker community to apply. Thanks!

School Counselor Supports

All students are enrolled in a course named "Class of (Graduation Year)" in Canvas and Skyward. This is not an in-person class, but counselors will use this course in Canvas, as well as emails to parents and students, to communicate important information and availability for counseling services. Students can contact their counselor individually by using the School Counselor Appointment Request Form under the Guidance tab on the Schmucker website. Parents can contact counselors via email or school voicemail.

Technology Details

Technology Login Information: Please use the following instructions for students to access their email, Skyward, and Canvas.

  • Email Login Information:
    Username: first initial + last name + last 3 digits of ID number (example:
    Password: Passwords: ID number + phm (example: 123456phm)
  • Canvas/Skyward Login Information: Username: first initial + last name + last 3 digits of ID number (example: jdoe456)
    Password: ID number + phm (example: 123456phm)

For Parents and Students who need Tech help:

Logging in: If parents are having trouble getting into Canvas or Skyward please direct them to email

Chromebooks: If families are having issues with their Chromebook, they should send an email to

Other information for parents:

Bus Drivers Needed

PHM is in need of Bus Drivers. All drivers begin as Sub Drivers and are guaranteed four hours of work a day at a rate of $19.75/hr. Once a driver is elevated to a route driver they will continue to be guaranteed four hours of work per day. Their pay will be increased to $21.61/hr and they will have opportunities to drive field trips, and athletic events. Trip pay is $13/hr with a minimum pay on a trip being $30. After 60 days of work they will be elevated to a rate of $22.33/hr. These wages are effective 1/1/2021 and all training is provided by the Penn Harris Madison Transportation Department.

Please apply at the link below.


Penn-Harris-Madison utilizes the School Messenger® alert notification service to distribute emergency messages, such as school closings, delays and student attendance (for unexcused absences).

Parents are encouraged to visit today to create an account and set up your preferences for receiving emergency messages from the District.

Visit the PHM website for more information.

Helpful Contacts